McDonald’s announces plans for new meat-free plant-based burger after successful trials


Meet the McPlant: McDonald’s announces plans for new meat-free plant-based burger after successful trials

  • McDonald’s will debut its plant-based meat alternative called ‘McPlant’ in 2021 
  • The burger is a joint venture with plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat 
  • Comes after P.L.T. burger was trialed at 100 locations in Canada earlier this year

Fast food chain McDonald’s has announced plans for a new meat-free burger in a joint venture with plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat. 

The burger chain said it would debut its own plant-based meat alternatives called ‘McPlant’ in 2021.  

McDonald’s decided to introduce the burger after trialing a version, known as the P.L.T., in Canada last year.  

Fast food chain McDonald’s has announced plans for a new meat-free burger in a joint venture with plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat. The P.L.T. burger is pictured above

The burger chain said it would debut its own plant-based meat alternatives called 'McPlant' in 2021

The burger chain said it would debut its own plant-based meat alternatives called ‘McPlant’ in 2021

In a blog post, the company said: ‘Based on what we learned and an encouraging response, we’re excited to give you a sneak preview of the McPlant – a delicious plant-based burger crafted for McDonald’s, by McDonald’s, and with the kind of craveable McDonald’s flavour our customers love.’ 

The McPlant will be served on a ‘warm, sesame seed bun with all the classic toppings’. 

‘There are other plant-based burgers out there, but the McPlant delivers our iconic taste in a sink-your-teeth-in (and wipe-your-mouth) kind of sandwich,’ the blog post states. 

Beyond Meat was seen as the front runner for a contract as it had conducted tests of a so-called ‘P.L.T.’ burger at nearly 100 McDonald’s locations in Ontario, Canada, earlier this year. 

Beyond Meat was seen as the front runner for a contract as it had conducted tests of a so-called 'P.L.T.' burger at nearly 100 McDonald's locations in Ontario, Canada, earlier this year. The P.L.T. burger is pictured above

Beyond Meat was seen as the front runner for a contract as it had conducted tests of a so-called ‘P.L.T.’ burger at nearly 100 McDonald’s locations in Ontario, Canada, earlier this year. The P.L.T. burger is pictured above 

Beyond Meat was not immediately available for comment. Its stock was down nearly 8% in morning trading, ahead of its quarterly results after market close. 

International President Ian Borden said the McPlant was created ‘by McDonald’s and for McDonald’s’. 

He described the creation as a ‘delicious burger that will be the first menu option in a plant-based platform.’

According to Mr Borden, the McPlant line could eventually be extended to include plant-based chicken and breakfast sandwiches, which the company expects to test in some markets next year, 

McDonald’s joins other fast-food outlets including KFC and Burger King in jumping on the plant-based trend. 

KFC announced the launch of its plant-based burger as a permanent product on their menu in 900 UK stores at the start of the year.  

The KFC Vegan Burger features a fillet made of Quorn meat, coated in herbs and spices and served with vegan mayonnaise. 

Burger King made headlines in January when it launched its plant-based Rebel Whopper in the UK, however the burger is not listed as vegan or vegetarian friendly as it is cooked on the same grill as Burger King’s regular beef Whopper burgers.

A disclaimer on Burger King’s UK. website reads: ‘The Rebel Whopper is plant-based; however, it is cooked on the same broiler as our original Whopper to deliver the same unique flame-grilled taste. Due to shared cooking equipment it may not be suitable for vegetarians.’ 

McDonald’s, which reported market-beating profit and revenue estimates for the third quarter on Monday, did not comment on why it did not continue with Beyond Meat’s offerings in the United States.

McDonald's joins other fast-food outlets including KFC and Burger King in jumping on the plant-based trend. KFC Vegan Burger pictured above

McDonald’s joins other fast-food outlets including KFC and Burger King in jumping on the plant-based trend. KFC Vegan Burger pictured above 

‘Plant-based products are an ongoing consumer trend. It’s not a matter of if McDonald’s will get into plant-based, it’s a matter of when,’ McDonald’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Kempczinski said on a call with analysts.

Analysts, rival fast food companies and plant-based protein producers have been closely watching McDonald’s plans as it is one of the few national chains yet to sell plant-based meat burgers on a permanent basis.

While other chains have started offering plant-based meat options, a McDonald’s contract could be the biggest and would put the plant-based meat movement front and center in mainstream America. 

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